Looking over the last couple of seasons has made me realize the strength of a great host. Well, I knew that before, but never have hosts been so key to SNL. The writing at Saturday Night Live has become an unhelpful bowl of spaghetti. Limp and swirling all over the darn place. This dish becomes stronger the more it embraces the odd noddles within (Julio Torres), which gives me hope for the future. The following hosts are the ones that inspired and danced with beautiful oddity:
1. Donald Glover
The Barbie skit. The entirety of this episode is brilliant, but the Barbie skit kills me. Donald as a writer and performer brought out the very best that the show is capable of.
2. John Mulaney
John’s second hosting did not quite reach his first, which was a masterclass. That is not to say that there is no skill here, because I believe Mulaney could become the next Steve Martin of hosts. Once again, as a writer, you have a host that shores up the weak parts of the show.
3. Tiffany Haddish
Omg, Tiffany was pure joy. Joy and talent and the very rare skill of making every sketch better by her mere presence. She knows how to sell comedy. If any writing was wobbly, she cut through it. She better be back, Lorne.
4. Adam Sandler
Adam came out of the past and ran me over. He just kept killing it. Killed the monologue, killed every skit, killed Update, and made people cry with real emotion in a beautiful moment. This was very unexpected, and I had no choice but to rewatch the hell out of this episode. Truly one of the greats.
5. Chance the Rapper
I was prepared for a musician host job: Charismatic but fumbly. Maybe in three skits at most. This is not what happened, and I love that SNL can still surprise. First of all, Chance was all over this episode. They let him talk. They let him be weird. They let Donald Glover come write some stuff ( even so, Chance owns this hosting job ) Yes, he was charming, but also funny in a most natural way. He smiled throughout as if he could not quite help himself, and yet still nailed every mark.
6. Sterling K. Brown
Sterling can put on a SHOW. It’s like a 1950s song and dance man got bit by a radioactive Cary Grant, so he can do comedy and drama too. He is a gift from the Gods of old. His total commitment elevate everything around him. The ‘Dying Mrs. Gomez’ and ‘Love Advice Doctor’ skits will make me forever happy.
7. Bill Hader
Everything lined up nicely in this episode, but I could not help feeling like Hader was coasting along. A lot of great moments, and I adore him, but that brought it down a bit for me.
8. Emma Stone
Emma is a pro at this, and her next episode will garner a five timers jacket. Her first two hostings were incredible, the second more so because the writers knew now what she could do. Her third was a bit stiff but fine, excepting the perfection of the Well skit. I missed her up for anything fearlessness of catching a laugh. This one was back to the best of Emma. When she gets into it, I can see that she is only going to get better and better.
9. James McAvoy
Another out of nowhere success that delights me about the last couple of seasons. Although aware of James, I had not seen him in a live comedy kind of situation. This is a top to bottom strong episode, and that is down to James. The writers were obviously fans of his and gave him no end of fun and strange things to do. Charmin is a gorgeous piece. He dived right in, picked them all up his capable Scottish hands, and took care of business.
10. Adam Driver
Sweet Adam. Talented Adam. Strong as it gets host Adam burdened with a not quite there yet writing team and a bummer of a musical guest. He still makes the top ten because of what he can do, and how much he brings to the SNL stage. This episode was dampened, and Adam deserves a redo. I hope he comes back.